Despite off-day ahead, rotation to stay on schedule

Despite off-day ahead, rotation to stay on schedule

SAN DIEGO -- Though the Cardinals are currently piecing together a rotation that is missing two of its Opening Day starting five, the club does not anticipate using Thursday's off-day to tweak the starters' order.

Manager Mike Matheny said that giving everyone in the rotation the extra day of rest can help balance the high pitch counts and larger innings load that several of the starters have already carried this year. The club is also bracing for another 17 straight days with a game after Thursday.

"Any free day is going to be one we try to take advantage of," Matheny said on Monday. "We have a long stretch here."

By turning the rotation over without any changes, that would leave John Gast in line to start on Saturday. It would be his third spot start in place of right-hander Jake Westbrook, who is on the disabled list with a right elbow injury.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.